Academics are being silenced for questioning whether people should be allowed to legally change sex simply by declaring it, a university professor has said. Kathleen Stock, a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, has compiled a dossier of other academics who have been harassed or marginalised as a result of their views. She says fear and intimidation is spreading through universities and silencing debate – something she experienced first-hand after attempts were made to have her fired and she received a stream of online abuse for speaking out. Shortly after publishing a critique of how ‘self-identification’ could affect women’s rights on her personal blog, Prof Stock was contacted by a number of colleagues who shared her opinion but dare not speak out for fear of losing their jobs. She said: “It’s shocking. It’s insidious. It’s about conversations in the corridor, being called in by your head of department and told you’re putting the university at risk, or quietly being dropped from a board of academic advisors.” The professor added that it was the large-scale silencing that compelled her to get involved: “I just thought ‘I have to force the issue, I have to be the first to say: “Come on, we have to be able to talk about this.”’”